Very interesting thread, and I think profitable to readers. Thanks Jamie.
Originally Posted by maklelan
What they did was take the YHWH and interpose the word adonai. Since the "Y" and the "W" are letters that can represent different sounds, it turned into JaHoVaH, which was later transliterated into Jehovah. It was never meant to be a guess as to the pronunciation, but just a way in which we could say the name without having to dance around it. Most Jews believe the name was too sacred to be pronounced, which is why the corect pronunciation was lost. Hebrew is an interesting language, because it was actually resurrected from the dead. It was just like Latin (read in scriptures but never spoken) until Eleazar Ben Yehuda came home one day and told his family they were going to speak Hebrew from now on. The problem was that the pronunciations were all mixed up and new words had to be invented. Ben Yehuda literally reinvented the Hebrew language. When pronunciations were not definite he mixed a lot of Arabic in with it. Today's Hebrew is a far cry from Biblical, and the only way we know what the words mean in the Bible is by looking at other instances when it appears and comparing the contexts and then guess. It's a very subjective procedure, as anyone who translates can attest.
Perhaps you, maklelan, or other Bible students in here can help me to understand what I read in Daniel Helminiak's book What the Bible Really Says about Homosexuality
. He refers to the absence of vowels in Hebrew (p. 125) as possible support to interpretive theories regarding David's and Jonathan's intimate relationship, David's seductive behavior towards Saul and his response to it, as well as Samuel's reference to Saul's lover (David). Is this quite plausible? How do we accurately determine Old Testament (or NT for that matter) interpretation and translation? Does this bring into question every aspect of the parts of the Bible that were originally written in Hebrew? Do I ask too many questions?
(I have loads more.)
I hope you can help me out, and perhaps some others will benefit too.